Epidemiological study on obesity and its comorbidities in urban Chinese older than 20 years of age in Shanghai, China

W P Jia, K S Xiang, L Chen, J X Lu, Y M Wu
Obesity Reviews 2002, 3 (3): 157-65
The aim of this work was to establish the prevalence of overweight and obesity and its associated comorbidities in a Chinese population older than 20 years of age. A group of 2776 randomly selected adults (20-94 years of age) living in the Huayang Community in Shanghai, China, were investigated between 1998 and 2000. Body weight, height, waist and hip circumferences and blood pressure were measured, as were fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin and lipid profile, as well as blood glucose 2 h after a glucose load, and a 75-g glucose tolerance test was performed. The prevalence of overweight was 29.5% and obesity was 4.3%, with a greater number of women being obese than men. More than one-third of the population had abnormal lipid levels. Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) occurred in 10.8%; and 9.8% of the population were classified as having type 2 diabetes mellitus. Hypertension was present in 58.4% of this population. About 21% and 29.3% of the population suffered from high total cholesterol and high triglyceride, respectively. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 10.2%. The prevalence of diabetes, IGR and metabolic syndrome increased progressively in association with a body mass index (BMI) of >23 kg m(-2). Hence, although the prevalence of obesity is low in this Chinese population, higher BMI and waist circumference values are clearly associated with an increasing prevalence of comorbidities. The absolute risk of having diabetes, IGR and metabolic syndrome is high in adults with a BMI of > or =23 kg m(-2).

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